EBOOK or PDF (Forgerons et alchimistes) By Mircea Eliade
Iently establish The links between African rites of initiation for miners and Renaissance experiments in transmutation are to my mind extremely tenuous and doesn t establish a structural relationship He and Renaissance experiments in transmutation are to my mind extremely tenuous and doesn t establish a structural relationship He with a theory about the continued existence of the essential character of alchemy in the form of materialist utopianism that I can ardly take seriously He spent so much time arguing for this unconvincing position that e scarcely dwelt upon the extremely compelling core problems of alchemy with its intense and uncanny imagery and its strangely cagey relationship to itself Alchemists seem to operate from a schizoid consciousness in which their operations are somehow simultaneously eld as symbolic yet are also tied rigidly to a specious language of chemical manipulations It is as if the alchemist intentionally drives the creation of a turbulent contradiction as part of The Nazi Revolution his art I don t know what to make of the whole thing really It is a deeply bizarre and confusing area of study and Eliadeas only marginally illuminated it for me He is generally much too uick to apply Bloods a Rover (American Underworld Trilogy his ready made structures of initiation and the axis mundi and theieros gamos and all that and doesn t ave the patience to excavate the material right in front of is eyes Another minor criticism the alchemical texts themselves are so deeply expressive and so compact it s odd that Wylde Bears (Wylde Bears, he provided so little in the way of direct uotation The best Eliade so far It showsow many realistic aspects one can find researching old metaphysics ideology and mysticism namely alchemical and metallurgic teachings Power is in secret of steel Conan anyone A thoughtful and insightful study of alchemy and metallurgy Eliade breaks the book into two sections 1 the structure of various myths and rituals of metallurgy and 2 the foundational structure of alchemy in the Western Chinese and Indian traditions What at first seems merely like a Cooking Light Lazy Gourmet hodgepodge collection of myths and short essays comes together when Eliade finally gets to the meaning behind alchemical structurestenets Well written and deeply thought Eliade does away with the popular belief that alchemy is merely an antecedent to modern chemistry merely a secularization of a sacred science Alchemy cannot be reduced to a protochemistry states Eliade He writes as aistorian of religion which means Arise he writes about theuman uest to influence and control and shape the physical world of matter People are also matter The uest embraces the renewal and the reshaping of the physical person The great mystery and power generated by this process becomes that which is spiritual The conuest of matter began very early perhaps in the palaeolithic age that is as soon as man Archies Americana, Vol. 1 had succeeded in making tools from silex and using fire to change the states of matter In any case certain techniues mainly agriculture and pottery were fully developed during the neolithic age Now these techniues were at the same time mysteries for on the oneand they implied the sacredness of the cosmos and on the #other were transmitted by initiation the craft secrets Tilling or the firing of clay like somewhat later mining #were transmitted by initiation the craft secrets Tilling or the firing of clay like somewhat later mining metallurgy put primitive man into a universe steeped in sacredness It would be vain to wish to reconstitute The Book Thief his experiences too much timeas elapsed since the cosmos Talk to Me has been desanctified as a result of the triumph of the experimental sciences Modern man is incapable of experiencing the sacred inis dealings with matter at most Silver Mortal (The Gracen Chronicles, he can achieve an aesthetic experience He is capable of knowing matter as a natural phenomenon But weave only to imagine a communion no longer limited to the eucharistic elements of bread or wine but extending to every kind of substance in order to measure the distance separating a primitive religious experience from the modern experience of natural phenomena Not that man in primitive society was still buried in Nature powerless to free Educating for the New World Order himself from the innumerable mystic participations in Nature totally incapable of logical thought or utilitarian labour in the modern sense of the word Everything we know of our contemporary primitives shows up the weakness of these arbitrary judgements But it is clear that a thinking dominated by cosmological symbolism created an experience of the world vastly different from that accessible to modern man To symbolic thinking the world is not only alive but also open an object is never simply itself as is the case with modern consciousness it is also a sign of or a repository for something else pp 143 144 Alchemy cannot be reduced to a protochemistry In fact when it became an elementary chemistry the alchemical world of meaning was on the verge of disappearing Everywhere we find alchemy it is always intimately related to a mystical tradition in China with Taoism in India with Yoga and Tantrism in Hellenistic Egypt with gnosis in Islamic countries withermetic and esoteric mystical schools in the Western Middle Ages and Renaissance with Hermetism Christian and sectarian mysticism and Cabala Conseuently to understand the meaning and function of alchemy we must not judge the alchemical texts by the possible chemical insights which they may contain Such an evaluation would be tantamount to judging and classifying great poetical creations by their scientific data or their Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock historical accuracy That the alchemists DID contribute also to the progress of the natural sciences is certainly true But they did this indirectly and only as a conseuence of their concern with mineral substance and living matter For they were experimenters not abstract thinkers or erudite scholastics Their inclination to experimentowever was not limited to the natural realm the experiments with mineral or vegetal substances pursued a ambitious goal to change the alchemist s own mode of being pp 182 183. Tains an updated appendix in which Eliade lists works on Chinese alchemy published in the past few years He also discusses the importance of alchemy in Newton's scientific evolutio. ,
Ne is decried as superstitious myth while the other is unironically posited as truth It The Character Of An Upright Man happens many times than I can excerpt but it is important to see for yourself Metals grow in the belly of the earth And as the peasants of Tonkin stillold today if bronze were to remain buried for the reuired time it would become gold To sum up in the symbols and rites accompanying metallurgical operations there comes into being the idea of an active collaboration of man and nature perhaps even the belief that man by Mr. Malcolms List his own work is capable of superseding the process of nature The citations draw on an unspoken assumption that the West is a advanced version of society thatas grown past primitive attitudes Again Belief in the natural metamorphosis of metals is of very ancient origin in China and it is also found in Annam in India and the Indian archipelago The peasants of Tonkin GURPS Conspiracy X have a saying Black bronze is the mother of gold Gold is engendered naturally by bronze But this transmutation can materialize only if the bronzeas lain a sufficiently long period in the bosom of earth To state that the Tonkin or other primitive civilizations can be directly contrasted to Western societies in medieval times that they are somehow foundational unfinished versions or advanced society the black bronze to white Westernism s gold To assume that given time they would advance to the perfection of gold This than belief in the forms and formats of the metals of the earth than the physico chemical advances that make modernity run accepting this belief that all roads lead to Rome is to uncritically accept the very illusion of infinite linear progress It was precisely the denial of this inevitability that made the text feel relevant when it was stated with such aplombNon Western societies aren t a temporal portal into what life was like for Europeans in the past these ideas are insidious and toxic When a text so Just One Golden Kiss heavy with interesting ideas turns out to be inseparable from unfounded presupposed racism its place in a globalumanities curriculum is lost However useful ForgeCrucible is in building a grandiose perspective for the illusory inevitability of global modernism it is destroyed by contradiction It becomes a work of tepid racism masuerading as cultural foundationalism a golden lock on the cage of Western cultural supremacy The author Eliade is a recognized authority on myth He explains the primitive pre scientific beliefs about metals such as that metals like babies matured in the womb of Mother Earth until they reached maturity gold Such ridiculous ideas as the ancients eld are truly frightening when one realizes that infant sacrifice was used in early smithying worldwide The mind of the pagan is not one of clarity and goodness but one of muddled facts and muddled worldview Thank goodness for the Enlightenment a European intellectual movement of the late 17th century through the 18th century emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition This a very anthropological account of alchemy as discourse and its evolution from tribal manifestations to present yoga traditions of all paths and cultures Eliade is a beautiful yet factual writer The book can get repetitive with certain motifs but such is alchemy I enjoyed the read like I enjoy a good PBS special Admittedly Eliade is is alchemy I enjoyed the read like I enjoy a good PBS special Admittedly Eliade is of strange to read because the book reads like a mosaic of random facts Each chapter often seems like a series of vaguely related ideas but after some thought the book coheres decently well The knowledge available on alchemy is worth its weight in gold forgive the joke Is it too much to ask for a book to be properly named Gah Sure this book treats alchemy for around 40% of its length but in its totality it s concerned with the religious consciousness of what Eliade precociously calls Homo faber or man ua tool user So for the first undred pages of this 170 page book we take a survey of various mythological traditions from around the world associated with metals metallurgy mining and forging and unearth no pun intended a variety of interesting parallel motifs particularly with respect to the belief that metals and minerals grow and ripen in the womb of the earth I m often troubled by Eliade s lack of theoretical reflectiveness in Phantom Encounters his comparative approach His typical modus operandi is to simply compare traditions without much concern forow parallels might be accounted for whether by diffusion collective unconscious or coincidence He tends to imply that parallel symbolic constructions point to universals not in the Jungian sense but perhaps some kind of a priori ontology that is known and expressed in religious forms around the world There may be a case for that but I m uncomfortable with the degree that Eliade typically implies this is going on uncomfortable with the degree that Eliade typically implies this is going on does not make it the subject of scrutiny or reflection But I digress After this long intro Eliade spends precious little time surveying the alchemical traditions of China India the Arab world and Europe He scarcely pauses to raise let alone answer any of the deep problems associated by this most difficult of subjects in religious Eat Your Way Through the USA history Where did alchemy come from How do we account for the striking parallels between the various forms of alchemy that developed in remote civilizationsEliade principally interprets alchemy as a sub species of the religious concerns of Homo faber That is it is part of the general mythology of man s catalyzation of the material of the world with the elements of inward transformation expressed in symbolic parallel to the energies of outward transformation of the material world It is an expression of man s function of world transformer in the religious idiom I was not won over byis approach which strikes me as too broad and too dependent on tenuous connections that My Dirty Janitor Book 4 he doesn t suffic. E follows the ritualistic adventures of these ancient societies adventures rooted in the people's awareness of an awesome new powerThe new edition of The Forge and the Crucible con. Like all books of Eliade this is again rich in content The book is an ideal introduction to the studie of the backgrounds of alchemie its evolution andistorie Though Eliade can t claim any primary fieldwork The Forge and the Crucible offers an impressive laundry list of ethnographic profiles on practices of mining and metallurgy contrasting established alchemical traditions and European folk beliefs uncovering striking parallels and profound undercurrents as to the sacred nature of work the task of Stories from Spain / Historias de España healing the world and perfecting the self and the archetypaluman striving to intercede in and improve on time itself The age of this text is startling text not book feels correct for The Forge and the Crucible The Origins and Structures of Alchemy its most common format is likely assigned reading photocopies as it presupposes concepts over which I felt a sense of individual proprietariness Those ideas took their time in uncovering themselves to my mind the false euivalence of progress to the inevitable of civilizing advancement as a linear and undiluted positive These were clearly common assumptions stated without fanfare over a Spanish-American Short Stories / Cuentos hispanoamericanos half century ago Currently the ideas they push against are so ingrained within me and my peers as children of the post computer industrial information economy that simply recognizing their truth feels wildly subversive But they are not new nor are they to be relinuished to the disaffected anticonformistsWe must not believe that the triumph of experimental science reduced to nought the dreams and ideals of alchemy On the contrary the ideology of the new epoch crystallized around the myth of infinite progress and boosted by the experimental sciences and progress of industrialization which dominated and inspired the whole of the nineteenth century takes up and carries forward despite its radical secularization the millennary dream of the alchemist The Myth of Infinite Progress is such a fitting post colon than The Origins and Structures of Alchemy for this text a signifier that needn t be signified when it was originally published but now would fill a crucial niche To get there though some background is reuired A line needs to be drawn around chemistry Chemistry was born from the disintegration of the ideology of alchemy Moreso the contrast needs to be stark because alchemy in the modern dialectic is nothing than chemistry with newt eyes and a fanciful goal Chemistry is observation and replication Alchemy is ritual a desire to not observe but to guide Alchemyas beueathed much to the modern worlds than a rudimentary chemistry it Broken Bear has left us its faith in the transmutation of Nature and its ambition to control time That not the laboratory or experimental structure is the legacy of the alchemical tradition Let us not forget the titular forge which ties in as follows we are in the throws of socio cultural upheaval It is in the specific dogma of the nineteenth century according to which man s true mission is to transform and improve upon Nature and becomeer master that we must look for the authentic "continuation of the alchemist s dream The visionary s myth of the perfection "of the alchemist s dream The visionary s myth of the perfection accurately of the redemption of Nature survives in camouflaged form in the pathetic programme of the industrial societies whose aim is the total transmutation of Nature its transformation into energy Why the
"Forge Humanity S New New "Humanity s new new the mid twentieth century our new ability to manufacture whatever we can imagine is new But not completely beyond the pattern of Enna Burning history it can still be analogized Imagine whatumanity felt when straddling the line between being able to create to make to forge permanent objects and the life left behind This is the birth of pottery or metallurgy of agriculture itself Things before either were or they weren t what you Hatter had was unchangeable except through fateope kismet destiny Metal fell from the sky was used like rock shined or glinted or rusted or Paint the Wind held an edge but it wasn t created That break between finding and creating is where we are now or at least the now of seventy years ago with synthetics and biochemical engineering we can now forge a sword rather than search for sharp stones build aome rather than find a cave grow crops rather than gather berries But we cannot yet build the genetic analogue of the blacksmith s Wayne hammer It is in this nineteenth century dominated by the physico chemical sciences and the upsurge of industry that man succeeds in supplanting Time His desire to accelerate the natural tempo of things by an ever rapid and efficient exploitation of mines coal fields and petrol deposits begins to come true Organic chemistry fully mobilized to wrest the secrets of the mineral basis of life now opens the way to innumerable synthetic products And one cannotelp noticing that these synthetic products demonstrate for the first time the possibility of eliminating Time and preparing in factory and laboratory substances which it would The Perfect Resume have taken Nature thousands and thousands of years to produce Modernity is the fruition of the alchemist s goal To understand the scope to be able to see now from the outside weave to look to the past look to cultures that saw their destinies change on the backs of their smiths and metallurgists likened to creator gods mythical eroes allegorical worldmakersFinding that in capital H History is Not Enough For ForgeCrucible Hereafter enough for ForgeCrucible Hereafter shows a theory rather than startlingly modern that is built from a lineage imperial vanity We ave come across examples of initiatory transmission rites among miners smelters and smiths in the West they preserved right up to the Middle Ages and in other parts of the world up to the present time their primitive attitude vis vis minerals and metals Did you catch it elision of alchemical assumptions and cultural theory Primitive man's discovery of the ability to change matter from one state to another brought about a profound change in spiritual behavior In The Forge and the Crucible Mircea Eliad.
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